Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla will leave the club at the end of his contract in the summer, the club has confirmed. “Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch,” Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said. “His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years. “He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. “We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club.” The 33-year-old Spaniard played 180 times for the Gunners since joining from Malaga in 2012. He suffered a serious Achilles tendon injury sidelining him since October 2016. Cazorla has two FA Cup winners’ medals from his time with Arsenal and scored in their 3-2 cup final win over Hull at Wembley in 2014. “I am very sad to be leaving after so many great times,” Cazorla said. “I have loved my time with the club. I will always remember the special moments we had together. The FA Cup in 2014 is something we will never forget. “I am very proud to be part of this club’s history.” Cazorla has had surgery on his injury several times and in November 2017, having skin from his arm grafted to his leg after an infection ate about eight centimetres from his tendon. He will reportedly train with Spanish side Villarreal, one of his former clubs, before next season. Cazorla’s last Arsenal match was a 6-0 win over Ludogorets on 19 October 2016, and in total he scored 29 goals for the club.